Monday, July 25, 2011

Ride down Memory Lane

Hi everyone! How are YOU doing?
I am "in between" projects right now for the next few weeks and it is kind of a weird feeling to be in! I just graduated last Wednesday and was busy for the last year working on my Masters program and then come first of September I will ramp up my business again (investigating equal employment discrimination for the federal govt) but having free time to do what I choose to do for a WHOLE day has been wonderful! Zev still has to work a few more days before we fly out, but he will thankfully be home for the last part of our move (car and last few items). Anyway, I feel very lucky to have this "free" time to spend as I wish before things get busy again. I have decided to take advantage of this blessing of time by getting back into "shape" in all areas: fitness, healthy eating and most importantly, my daily devotional time. Zev said something really insightful to me on his daily telephone conversation with me on his ride home from work. He told me that ideally, we have this work/ life balance ALL the time, so that we spend time with family but also get to relax and recharge our batteries.
So today I set out on a bike ride down to Stuttgart. It is not a "local" bike ride but rather one that involves hills and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes each way (probably longer on the return leg because of the hill back to our house). The bike ride path is quite picturesque and takes you past the Mercedes Benz factory and the central park near the Stuttgart zoo. One thing I hadn´t seen before is the "protest camp" just outside the main station downtown. A big issue in Stuttgart at the moment is the "Stuttgart 21" project, which is all about the expansion of the main station (to make it an underground station). There is a "standing" protest every Monday afternoon. The protesters have set up tents in the down town park area near the main station, including tee pees and tibetan flags. It´s all very interesting. The first thing that popped into my mind when I rode through this was "is this Woodstock 2011 or Stuttgart 21?"!!!)
I had no real agenda on my bike ride today; just get out and get some exercise, enjoy nature and appreciate the last mental "snapshots" of beautiful Stuttgart before we depart this country. Once I reached Schlossplatz I bought a newspaper and a coffee and just sat down on the soft grass and enjoyed watching life going by.
I looked over to my left and saw the pizza place where Zev and I came and sat on the steps the very first night we arrived in Germany, almost 3 years ago. I can´t believe how much we have seen and done in that time! Zev and I have decided that we will have a special date night the night before we fly home, where we come downtown and "relieve memory lane" again and get a pizza and sit on the steps watch life go by.....I am looking forward to that.
Ironically, the front cover of the Stuttgarter Zeitung had a small article about the "Stuttgart 21" big drama I tell you! This project even swayed the recent state elections in favor of the Green party! I am all in favor of saving the greenery and parklands around Stuttgart, but my problem is that most of the people I ask about the project (local Stuttgart folk) don´t even know what the project is all about, or why they are protesting.
On my ride up the hill, I made sure to appreciate the view of Esslingen. This will probably not mean anything to most of you, but I want to record it on our blog so that we can remember the names we had for things when we flick through our blog books in the future. I rode up "Voyeaur Hill" (not to be confused with "Turk Hill" and will probably ride up "Curly Wurly" or maybe just "Enchanted Forest" tomorrow. Zev likes to run "Dive Shop" or "Dive Shop Extended". I love the names we made up for our runs.)
Tomorrow I am going to appreciate some more of the simple things in life. Good night for now...

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